SURFLOGH

Did you hear the latest Cargo Bike Talk?

23 November 2020 - Published by Deirdre Buist
The 2nd edition of the Cargo Bike Talks was held online and broadcast live from the city of Groningen on 19th November. Jos Sluijsmans, Director of the Cargo Bike Festival, chatted with representatives of local, national and international businesses working together with the City on alternatives for urban sustainable logistics, with the support of Surflogh.

Grokaal is Groningen local

In the studio Jos chatted about a successful ‘Corona crisis cooperation initiative’ with local entrepreneur and cargo-biker Wilbert van de Kamp who introduced the Grokaalbox. The box is filled with goods and products from local shops and is delivered using Dropper, the succesful cargo-bike platform well known to Surflogh followers. “Delivery by bike is a unique selling point,” according to Wilbert. “We’d like bigger hubs, improved and more combinations. While we are now a successful alternative in strange times, we expect cargo-bike deliveries could become the standard in inner city areas within the next two years. Cargo-bikes are so much more flexible!”

Big company, big ambitions

PostNL is the number one mail and logistics service provider in the Benelux with the largest and most modern logistics network. Rogier Havelaar, responsible for sustainability, joined in online. “ We’re a big company with big ambitions!” While Rogier is all for greener logistics, he had a critical note regarding the inset of cargo-bikes in Groningen  “With about 8000 parcel deliveries a day, you need at least 200 bikes…leading to more congestion. For sustainable solutions, we need a mix, and to combine with other Light Electirc Freight Vehicles (LEFVs) otherwise there’s too much competition in the bike lanes. Post NL has been doing various tests in Groningen (including a combi with a Nuwiel trailer), as well as in other cities, to trial various options with a view to also lowering congestion. We need to create a process that is economically viable and adapt the infrastructure for these changes."

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Recipe for sustainable solutions

Natalia Tomiyama, founder of the Hamburg-based company Nuwiel, was also interviewed by Jos online. With a vision to freeing cities from unnecessary cars, noise and pollution, Nuwiel produces e-trailers that can be combined with any bike, e-bike or cargo-bike – or even be used as a hand-trailer. The suspension has been specially designed and adapted to suit the bumpy cobblestones of historic inner cities. According to Natalia recent trials have shown the cocktail of Groningen, PostNL and Nuwiel to be a successful recipe for sustainable solutions – whereby the feedback from residents on how they view these greener delivery modes was greatly valued. Plans to upscale this project are currently being discussed and expanded to other large cities.

Flexibility & alternative delivery options

In conclusion, the Netherlands is already aware of bike congestion. Not surprisingly as, together with Denmark, the country is ahead of most EU countries in terms of cycling. From a safety and liveability perspective, infrastructural measures and policies must be adapted.

Considering the near future of sustainable urban logistics means allowing for flexibility, freedom and variety of alternative delivery options in densely populated areas. Groningen also aims to test and invest more in service logistics where there is much to be gained.

If you missed the Cargo Bike Talks you can still follow the session on www.logistieknoord.nl/cargobiketalks.

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Follow Stonghouse on twitter (@surflogh) and we’ll keep you posted about the next Cargo Bike Talks and other relevant news on sustainable urban freight logistics.